Policies
GPS case could have big impact E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

Law enforcement experts are closely watching a federal court case in Pittsburgh that could reach the U.S. Supreme Court and may result in a “groundbreaking” decision about whether police officers need probable cause and search warrants to use GPS technology when tracking suspects. In many states across the nation, police detectives have been using the sometimes-controversial technology to investigate cases with generally favorable outcomes in terms of legal challenges after the fact.

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Murdered In Their Homes On The Streets E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

In Long Beach, California amidst a crime scene washed by heavy rains, police are hoping to find the anonymous caller who sent them to a homeless encampment where five people were shot to death recently. The bodies of three men and two women were found in an alley between two commercial buildings and Interstate 405 in Long Beach, according to police reports.

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More Is Needed To Keep The Peace E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Fighting crime and keeping people safe costs money. Unfortunately for the nation's law enforcement professionals, local and state governments are rapidly running out of cash. With too few cops on the streets and an alarming spike in homicides, Kansas City law enforcement leaders say they need a $45 million increase in next year's budget in order to keep the peace.

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Unpaid leave now mandatory E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

In a shocking indicator of just how bad the economy is getting, the Prince George’s County Council in Maryland voted unanimously to force 5,900 county employees to take two weeks of unpaid leave by mid-June of next year.

According to the Washington Post, Council Chairman Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville) said at a news conference that the county faces an emergency budget shortfall of $57 million, and the action was necessary to prevent more painful layoffs.

Dean said the council’s top responsibility is to prevent bankruptcy for the county.

“Sometimes in life one must make decisions one does not like,” he told reporters.

The decision was immediately blasted by county workers, several hundred of whom attended the “contentious” recent council meeting. Afterward they spilled out in front of the county building to voice their displeasure.

Those opposing the plan said that the vote was taken less than 24 hours after the furlough plan was first unveiled by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) and contested claims that it would not affect public safety.

The council allowed five union presidents to speak for two minutes each on the issue, but none of the hundreds of workers who will be affected the most were permitted to speak.

“This was shameful,” said Vince Canales, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

“It was underhanded and without thought.”

 
When POST standards and circumstance diverge E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder asked the agency that certifies law enforcement officers to momentarily leave the matrix in order to consider an individual officer’s circumstances. “On several occasions, our recommendations have deviated from what the POST matrixes indicate,” he told the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council recently. Sheriff Winder’s remarks came at the recent quarterly meeting, in which 18 officers were either suspended or had their badges revoked for infractions ranging from drug possession to sexual misconduct.

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Some cities ease residency rules, some don't E-mail
Written by Cynthia Brown   

Of all the terms that strike a sour note with law enforcement, “residency rules” are among the worst. But the law is the law and in cities like Chicago, cops are required to live in the city where they work. That means more expensive real estate and concerns about an officer and his or her family’s safety.

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Leaving On A Jet Plane E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Federal law enforcement agencies are using a powerful new tool in the fight against what many describe as an epidemic of gang-related crime and violence - deportation orders.

The tactic will obviously only work with gang suspects that are foreign nationals and in the country illegally, but federal officials say the program already is a success: according to press releases, nearly three dozen gang members who were in the United States illegally have been sent back to their home countries since the program's first arrests last February.

But the approach also has its risks, especially in smaller farm towns where predominantly Hispanic populations are wary of federal immigration authorities.

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Gang-Related Rosary? E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

According to local news reports out of Texas, a teenage high school student claims she is forbidden from wearing a rosary around her neck in school because the Catholic prayer beads are a gang symbol, MyFOXDFW.com has reported.

 

Tabitha Ruiz was stopped by security guards at Seagoville High School in Dallas recently and told to take off the silver and ruby beaded rosary. The religious necklace was a gift from her mother.

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Tattoo Blue E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

If you’re a tattooed cop in Des Moines, Iowa, you’re going to have to be content with the ink already on your body. A new departmental policy now says any tattoos, branding and intentional scarring on the face, head, neck, hands, or exposed arms and legs are now prohibited. Employees who already have tattoos are exempt.

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